Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew believes nobody 'knows who Deontay Wilder is' and that a heavyweight title unification bout with Anthony Joshua needs to be built up before it happens.
Wilder (38-0 record in boxing) will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Bermane Stiverne in a rematch on 4 November in New York City.
However, the American has long been calling for a title unification bout with Britain's IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight champion Joshua (20-0 record in boxing).
Following his title defence against Carlos Takam in Cardiff's Principality Stadium on 28 October, Joshua called out Wilder along with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, having previously earmarked them as potential fights for 2018.
But Bellew claims that while Joshua is a big name, Wilder still needs to be built up to make the bout an attractive prospect as his resume is not impressive enough.
"I'm not saying I am better than him, I am not saying I would beat him, but why have I got a better resume than the WBC heavyweight champion of the world?"
Bellew admits that the "Bronze Bomber" is the most dangerous opponent available for Joshua, but he would rather see a bout take place later as Wilder does not have the name recognition that "AJ" has yet.
"But I don't want to see him fight AJ yet, though," he added. "It has to be built up because they are two big names, and the most explosive heavyweights out there. If it happened next it would be a big event because of Anthony Joshua. But no one knows who Deontay Wilder is."
"When you are the WBC heavyweight champion of the world and you have to go to Russia to defend your title against Alexander Povetkin, you know you have a marketability problem. An American, with the best belt in the world, having to go to Russia? This isn't 'Rocky.'"
"Wilder needs to fight names and he needs to make statements. They need to get the hype going for him, they really do. Ortiz would've been a big name, but I'm afraid Bermane Stiverne – who is actually very good – isn't."